What do you do at CEI?
I am one of the four fellows as part of the inaugural 2-year Fellowship program here at CEI.
What did you do prior to CEI?
My background has been in early childhood education and had previously worked as a Pre-K teacher in Wilsonville. Most recently in the last few years, I worked in special education in the elementary grades in Oregon City. As one of the few educators of color at my school, I decided to take a more active role in my community. I became more involved in racial equity work and was the Co-Equity chair for our school site. I was involved in co-facilitating the BIPOC Educators affinity group in the Oregon City School District and was a member of the steering committee that promoted and implemented equity initiatives across our schools. I have always been passionate about education and supporting the needs, goals, and the aspirations of youth by applying a racial equity lens.
Why do you do this work?
I identify as Korean, Asian, a transracial-transnational adoptee/displaced person, and Bi. I also identify as being unapologetically an “Ungrateful” and “Angry adoptee”. From my displacement of my birth country, family, and culture through the harms of the adoption industry, I occupied this liminal / in-between place where I didn’t feel like I fully belonged anywhere. I was internalizing this dominant agenda and narrative other than my own. I believe in a world where Black, Brown, and people of color are not tokenized, targeted, or capitalized off of through white supremacy. I do this work, because I have a constant drive and hope that we can dismantle white supremacy and reimagine a liberatory world where Black, Brown, and communities of color are seen, validated, and can thrive in the fullest way possible. As a Fellow, I am enhancing my DEI toolkit and lens that can be utilized towards liberatory frameworks of racial healing for BIPOC folks. I will be applying to an MSW program after my fellowship with the goal of incorporating racial equity work towards the field of mental health.
What do you believe?
“We on the periphery, learning and watching from the outside have a particular power. With revolutionary roots” – Kim Diehl. I believe that we have the tools to empower others and co-create what we want to imagine into existence.
What is a question that guides your work?
What narrative is being told? Whose voices are being amplified/invisibilized?
“We need to connect visionary work with resistance work; one is not possible without the other. Both are essential parts of a more holistic movement for change” -Grace Lee Boggs